According to Christian Headlines:
More healthy couples are using U.S. fertility clinics to help them with something other than conception struggles: guaranteeing their baby’s gender.
A growing number of clinics in the United States now offer a controversial service called “family balancing” or “nonmedical sex selection.” Fertility Institutes, a network known for sex selection services in Los Angeles, New York, and Mexico City, says nearly 90 percent of its clients have no medical fertility issues, but instead come from the U.S. and abroad to ensure their next child’s gender, The Wall Street Journal reported. For about $18,000, the clinic offers parents a 99.99 percent guarantee of their chosen gender and evaluation of all 46 chromosomes in the embryo for genetic disease.
Christian Research Network reports:
An international team of researchers has concluded an in-depth genetic analysis of the octopus, and some say their just-released findings present deep problems for the theory of evolution.
The octopus has long been recognized as one of Earth’s most unusual creatures. Its intelligence, dexterity, and complexity are unparalleled among invertebrates. And, until last year, scientists had never fully mapped the genome of the octopus, so the eight-armed creature’s full genetic code remained a mystery.
15 Ἐὰν ἀγαπᾶτέ με, τὰς ἐντολὰς τὰς ἐμὰς τηρήσετε· (John 14:15 NA28)
15 “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments;” (John 14:15 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
In this post we will look at John 14:15-31, which is last part of the dialogue between our Lord and His disciples in the upper room after the Passover Feast just prior to His arrest in the garden on the other side of the Kidron Valley from Jerusalem (John 18). Never forget my brethren, our Lord did not come to bring all people together. His message was one of division. That was what He said. Also, His ministry was to reveal the Father (John 1:14, 18), to bring glory to Him. In this post we will see that our Lord even further defines who it is who are truly His.
1 Paul, a bond- servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:1-7 NASB
Part of the process I go through to determine what God wants me to write about or what to study is, of course, prayer and meditation. That meditation involves searching Sacred Scripture, seeking God’s truth. Sometimes that involves going deeper where I stop and dig deeper into a certain word or truth. As many of you know, not every comment on this blog makes it through moderation. In fact, some people have violated the rules for commenting so often that they have been blocked so that all their comments are automatically put into the SPAM folder. One of the sources I use for direction in these posts is what comes from “some” of those comments. This post is an example of that. Through that I became convinced that I should deal with some issues dealing with apostasy in the visible church. In this post we will study what the New Testament has to say about “obedience.” To do that we will look at the Greek lexical definitions for the noun and verb forms of our English words “obedience” and “to obey.” From this we should come to a deeper understanding of Christians’ obligations to know and obey God’s commands.
Christian News Network reports:
Thousands of Americans took to the streets and public sidewalks outside of their local Planned Parenthood facility on Saturday to demand that the federal government defund the abortion giant.
According to reports, Christians and other pro-lifers gathered at over 320 locations across the nation, holding signs, praying and calling out to women not to murder their unborn child. Some rallies also featured special speakers that urged Americans to rise up against the shedding of innocent blood.
“We want to draw attention to the injustice of legalized abortion,” Monica Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, told the Washington Post. “The American public needs to be awakened to the atrocity of what is happening to innocent unborn children.”
Media Research Center has the latest on the Planned Parenthood scandal:
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne O’Donnell ruled on Friday afternoon the Center for Medical Progress has First Amendment rights to release videos it covertly took of StemExpress executives talking about buying aborted baby tissue from Planed Parenthood. Almost immediately afterwards, CMP released a new video that among other thing showed the StemExpress CEO Joking about receiving entire dead babies from Planned Parenthood (over lunch).
This latest video is only two minutes long and is more of a trailer of things to come. Most of its content was made up of bits and pieces of previous videos. The one new section featured Cate Dyer, the CEO of StemExpress in a lunch meeting with undercover operatives posing as representatives of a biotech firm. Dyer is seen laughing about how StemExpress purchases fully intact aborted babies from Planned Parenthood. As she paid the check, Dyer is laughing about how shippers of the aborted babies should give a warning to lab workers to expect such a whole (intact) baby.
“Shai Linne’s music teaches,” says John Lanagan. “While the form is rap, I consider him the modern equivalent of a hymn writer. Most of his songs explain and define things like the Atonement, the cross, justification etc., and this is explained to many who may not be familiar with these biblical truths.”
First, listen to the rapper explain his motive for “naming names.”
Now listen to Shai Linne’s song…
Source: My Word Like Fire
Elizabeth Prada of The End Times tells us what happened:
On Sunday, August 16, an intruder wearing a backpack mounted the pulpit at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church while Dr MacArthur was preaching the Sunday morning service, put his fingers in his lips and emitted a piercing whistle, pointed his finger at the pastor and began shouting that he had a message from the Lord to deliver to him.
The man, a Scottish “evangelist,” was angry that Dr MacArthur had preached in the past that the charismatic gifts have ceased, an interpretation termed “cessationism.” This biblical teaching was most recently delivered at the Strange Fire conference at Grace Community Church two years ago. That conference was a much-needed response and rebuke to the Charismatic movement which claims that Jesus delivers personal revelation to individuals today in the form of the temporary sign gifts of prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, and also that people can and do perform miracles like raising people from the dead and healings, as the first century apostles performed.
Christian Examiner reports:
When retail giant Target announced earlier this month a portion of gender-based signage will be removed from specific areas in their stores, a firestorm of controversy swept over social media. While some applauded the move, citing progress and positive change, others voiced their anger and concern over what they perceive as the retailer’s attempt to remove all gender references. Some customers vowed to no longer shop at the big box chain.
Citing a need to “strike a better balance,” Target announced in an Aug. 7 press release on their website the changes ensure the retailer no longer “feature[s] suggestions for boys or girls” in their bedding departments, “just kids.” In the toy aisles, gender references will be removed including “the use of pink, blue, yellow, or green paper on the back walls of our shelves.”
1 Τεκνία μου, ταῦτα γράφω ὑμῖν ἵνα μὴ ἁμάρτητε. καὶ ἐάν τις ἁμάρτῃ, παράκλητον ἔχομεν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν δίκαιον· (1 John 2:1 NA28)
1 My little Children, these things I write to you so that you do not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. (1 John 2:1 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Perfection is not obtainable for anyone is this life. The only perfect person who ever walked this Earth was the Lord Jesus Christ and the reason He could be perfect and was perfect is that He is deity. Part of His mission was actually to perfectly keep the Law in order to be the propitiation and only acceptable sacrifice in the Father’s eyes in place of those He came to save. We see this in the following verses.
2 καὶ αὐτὸς ἱλασμός ἐστιν περὶ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν, οὐ περὶ τῶν ἡμετέρων δὲ μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ περὶ ὅλου τοῦ κόσμου.
3 Καὶ ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐγνώκαμεν αὐτόν, ἐὰν τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ τηρῶμεν. 4 ὁ λέγων ὅτι ἔγνωκα αὐτὸν καὶ τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ μὴ τηρῶν, ψεύστης ἐστὶν καὶ ἐν τούτῳ ἡ ἀλήθεια οὐκ ἔστιν· 5 ὃς δʼ ἂν τηρῇ αὐτοῦ τὸν λόγον, ἀληθῶς ἐν τούτῳ ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ τετελείωται, ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκομεν ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐσμεν. 6 ὁ λέγων ἐν αὐτῷ μένειν ὀφείλει καθὼς ἐκεῖνος περιεπάτησεν καὶ αὐτὸς [οὕτως] περιπατεῖν. (1 John 2:2-6 NA28)
2 And He is the propitiation for our sins, not for our sins only, but also for the whole world. 3 And this we know that we have known Him, if we keep His commands. 4 The one saying, “I have known Him” and he does not keep His commands is a liar and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly in this one the love of God has been perfected, by this we know that we are in Him. 6 The one claiming to abide in Him ought to walk as He walked. (1 John 2:2-6 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
You’d think that it couldn’t get any worse than it already is for abortion mill Planned Parenthood, but with each new video released by The Center for Medical Progress, the American people discover yet another heinous procedure being done on human beings for the purpose of “medical research.” Life News has the story:
The pro-life advocates behind the five shocking videos exposing Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of aborted babies for research have released a 6th video today that shows how the abortion business sells body parts of aborted babies without patient consent.
The video features Holly O’Donnell, a licensed phlebotomist who unsuspectingly took a job as a “procurement technician” at the fetal tissue company and biotech start-up StemExpress in late 2012. That’s the company that acts as a middleman and purchases the body parts of aborted babies from Planned Parenthood to sell to research universities and other places.
Christian Headlines reports:
Danny Lotz, 78, husband of Anne Graham Lotz, has passed away after being found unresponsive in the family swimming pool.
Christianity Today reports that after Anne Graham Lotz found her husband in the swimming pool, he was immediately taken to Rex Hospital’s ICU in Raleigh, North Carolina.
According to Christian News Network:
Police are searching for clues after bombs were found planted this month outside of three houses of worship in New Mexico.
On August 2, police responded to a call about an explosion at Calvary Baptist Church in Las Cruces, where reportedly a bomb had been wrapped in newspapers and placed into a mailbox that had been bolted to the wall. The force of the explosion ripped the mailbox from the building, throwing it approximately 150 feet.
1 Τῇ ἐλευθερίᾳ ἡμᾶς Χριστὸς ἠλευθέρωσεν· στήκετε οὖν καὶ μὴ πάλιν ζυγῷ δουλείας ἐνέχεσθε. (Galatians 5:1 NA28)
1 For this freedom, Christ freed us, therefore, stand fast, and be not held again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
In Galatians 5:1 (above), the reference to the freedom for which Christ freed us refers to Paul’s arguments from Galatians 4. Never forget the purpose of this letter to the Galatian churches. They were being attacked by “Judiazers” who were attempting to get these Gentile believers to look to keeping the Jewish ceremonial law and regulations because they were saying the atonement bought for them through Christ’s blood was not sufficient for their justification. Paul’s argument is exactly the opposite. In Galatians 5:1, he makes it clear to them that Christ freed us through His atoning death especially for this freedom and those who have it must stand firm and not submit again to a yoke of legalism or slavery.
5 When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. 7 When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8 Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:5-10 NASB
One of the first books I bought after I began studying theology was The Death of Death in the Death of Christ by 17th Century Puritan Dr. John Owen. The following is an excerpt from the introductory essay for this book:
“The Death of Death in the Death of Christ is a polemical work, designed to show, among other things, that the doctrine of universal redemption is unscriptural and destructive of the gospel. There are many, therefore, to whom it is not likely to be of interest. Those who see no need for doctrinal exactness and have no time for theological debates which show up divisions between so-called Evangelicals may regret its reappearance.”
As I reread Book 1, over the last couple of days, I was actually amazed at how edifying it is for the Christian to read of the propitiatory work of Christ on the Cross specifically for his or her behalf, that is, to purchase them specifically by His blood.
According to Christian Examine:
Dennis Lotz, the 78-year-old husband of Anne Graham Lotz, was discovered unresponsive floating in the family pool Monday afternoon, according to a post on Lotz’s Facebook site.
Anne Graham Lotz is the second daughter of evangelist Billy Graham and the founder of AnGel Ministies. Her brother,Franklin Graham, is the Founder of Samaritan’s Purse.
Christian News Network reports:
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is calling upon Christians and their pastors to “rise up” for biblical values during the 2016 election season.
“Nothing is more important in the next 18 months than that the Body of Christ rises up and that Christians stand up—that pastors stand up and lead,” he said in a recent interview with the American Family Association during a campaign stop in Mississippi. (Watch here.)
He noted that his father, Rafael Cruz, a pastor, has been encouraging other pastors to be salt and light in the nation.
“He will tell pastors, ‘Listen, God really laid upon my heart that no one bears greater responsibility for the condition of this country today than the pastors,’” Cruz explained. “Because if the flock stumbles into a ditch, you don’t blame the sheep; you blame the shepherd.”
1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:1-2 NASB)
1 Γνωρίζω δὲ ὑμῖν, ἀδελφοί, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ὃ εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν, ὃ καὶ παρελάβετε, ἐν ᾧ καὶ ἑστήκατε, 2 διʼ οὗ καὶ σῴζεσθε, τίνι λόγῳ εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν εἰ κατέχετε, ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ εἰκῇ ἐπιστεύσατε. 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 NA28
The Apostle Paul defined the gospel for us throughout his writings in the New Testament. In these dark spiritual times in which people believe their opinions and feelings are consistent with “truth” it is vital that we know God’s truth and make it known to all who will hear. I would like to start in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. I placed vv1-2 at the top of this post. In v1 he tells us that he is going to define the Gospel (εὐαγγέλιον) as a process. In this process, the Gospel must be proclaimed (εὐηγγελισάμην) and through this some who hear it will receive it and it is their very foundation. I pray that you noticed the similarities between the two Greek words above. The word εὐαγγέλιον is Greek for “a good message” or “the good news.” The word εὐηγγελισάμην literally means “announce good news.” It is the word from which we get our English word “evangelize.” Notice also that those who hear the good news and are saved by it also stand (ἑστήκατε) within it because it is their foundation. This Greek word means “you stand” They abide in the covenant of the Gospel because it is now their foundation.
This subject is even more pertinent today than it was 4 years ago when Marsha West addressed it.
A few years ago “the world’s most famous Christian blogger,” Tim Challies, took Christian “watchbloggers” to task in his piece Evil as Entertainment. Thereafter, says Tim, “Much discussion, much gratitude, much criticism ensued.” Boy I’ll say!
Only recently did I stumble onto Evil as Entertainment and the follow-up he wrote for clarification. (Links below)
Tim views Christian watchbloggers (CWs) thusly:
Day after day they offer examples of all that is wrong in the church. They may vary what they offer a little bit, but what is true of them is that they offer a steady diet of negative content related to the church in general or perhaps related to just one person or one ministry. You know of some of these sites, I am sure.
Oh yes, I know of many of these sites. And I thank God for them.
What I found disappointing in Challies’ blogpost was that he painted CWs with such a broad brush. He complained that some of them offer negative content related to the church or one person or one ministry while others are:
really just a spiritualized form of YouTube or any other site that entertains by sharing what is gross and base and negative and that does so for the sake of entertainment. There is really no value in watching boys do stupid things on skateboards and laughing when they crack their ankle bones in half; there is really no value in watching the worst pastors in America preach to the worst churches in America. Such sites offer evil as entertainment.
Tim may have a point but it would have been helpful if he had honed in on what a trustworthy CW looks like. What do I look for? Firstly, must hold to all the essentials of the Christian faith; secondly, must fall within the pale of orthodoxy; thirdly, must teach sound doctrine; fourthly, must confront false teaching head on.
According to International Business Times:
Only 28% of heterosexuals believe that “there is no middle ground – you are either heterosexual or you are not”.
Kinsey estimated that around 10% of the population was gay, although this percentage was criticised by the American Statistical Association. However, a 2011 Gallup poll asked over 1,000 people in the US “what percentage of Americans today would you say are gay or lesbian?” On average, respondents guessed that 1-in-4 Americans were.
1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 1 Timothy 4:1 NASB
According to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in John 15 the mark of Christian authenticity is abiding or remaining in Him. This is not simply a continual profession of faith, but a remaining faithful to Christ in our orthodox Christian faith. According to Paul, it is a two-fold action of departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. The Apostle John called the Christian leaders who do this antichrists.